Well, this is depressing:
The priest, convicted of tying up and abusing two young boys in a California church rectory, wanted to leave the ministry.
But in 1985, four years after the priest and his bishop first asked that he be defrocked, the future Pope Benedict XVI, then a top Vatican official, signed a letter saying that the case needed more time and that “the good of the Universal Church” had to be considered in the final decision, according to church documents released through lawsuits.
That decision did not come for two more years, the sort of delay that is fueling a renewed sexual abuse scandal in the church that has focused on whether the future pope moved quickly enough to remove known pedophiles from the priesthood, despite pleas from American bishops.
Rick Simons, an attorney in Hayward, Calif., who represented two of the victims who later sued the Diocese of Oakland, said he met Father Kiesle when he took his deposition in prison.
“Of all the priests who abused children that I have met, and there’s probably a couple dozen, he was by far the most evil, remorseless sociopath of the lot,” he said.
The now-retired bishop who tried to get Kiesle defrocked says that in those days, the Vatican was still reeling from all the priests who left the ministry after the Second Vatican Council that Pope John Paul II wanted to make that harder to do.
The link between the future Pope Benedict and the Father Murphy case was more tenuous, but now, they’ve got Cardinal Ratzinger’s signature on the letter ordering the Oakland bishop to slow down on Kiesle’s case — this, even though there was no question but that he was a monster.
This latest revelation does not surprise me, and it should not surprise anybody who has paid the slightest attention to this scandal in this decade. They all did it — by which I mean, virtually the entire hierarchy is complicit to a greater or lesser degree in shuffling child-molesting priests around, or keeping them in some way in a position to commit their crimes. Why? Clericalism. The clerical class is what mattered most to these people, not the children and their families, to whom they were functionally indifferent.
I would be very surprised indeed if this is the only thing to come out to link the Holy Father to this sort of thing. You should expect more of it. Again, if anybody thinks Pope Benedict should resign, they should sober up and understand that there is almost certainly nobody under him who is untainted by this thing. This was the way the hierarchy operated for a very long time. At least this current pope seems to have at long last been enlightened about the scope of this catastrophe. But he is not doing enough to make it right. What is it going to take?